Brilliant Flavors of Barrio

21 Nov

Last Saturday morning, the last thing I wanted to do was wake up early, but the boyfriend was finally completing the move and I had to meet with a few of my MCDM’ers to work on a group project. When one of them suggested we meet for brunch at Barrio, I was totally on board. I’d heard rumors of a vast tequila selection, great guacamole [How have  I not been here before!!!], and all around great food. Those rumors did not disappoint. While I didn’t partake in a tequila flight, the well stocked bar piled high with bottles told me I would have been in good hands. I did however, order the gut-busting “best thing on the menu” (as told to me by our friendly waiter) — the Pork Belly Benedict (chile braised pork belly, toasted brioche, poached eggs, habanero hollandaise sauce, fresh tomato salsa and fried jalapeño served with papas bravas). Holy hell…. Let me first say that I don’t even like eggs benedict. If I order it, I get the hollandaise sauce on the side because I usually find it to be bland and pretty gross. Barrio’s version was a brilliant union of savory with a hint of sweet. The pork belly was expertly prepared and cooked perfectly. The eggs were exquisitely poached with no weird runny “is that going to make me sick?” sections. The real brilliance came wit the habanero hollandaise sauce — an expertly crafted rich heat that perfectly complemented the sweetness of the brioche. If you get the chance to stop by for brunch, do not miss this amazing dish at Barrio. I’m going to move on to the take-out part of my order but to hear more about this amazing brunch (& more fabulous Seattle brunch spots!), check out Seattle Weekend Brunch!

After getting through a few bites of my brunch, I knew I had to get some take-out to bring to my boyfriend to celebrate the move. Since I was there early in the day, the full menu wasn’t available but that wasn’t a problem. Fortunately, Barrio’s brunch menu has a great combination of both breakfast & lunch dishes to satisfy just about any palate. I ordered a Chicken Verde burrito (jack & oaxaca cheeses, rice, frijoles, salsa verde & crema) and a full sized Barrio Chopped Salad (romaine, red cabbage, pickled red onions, avocado, corn, tomatoes, queso cotija and pumpkin seeds with buttermilk-cilantro dressing), guacamole with chips, as well as a side of biscuits with honey butter. [The boyfriend is a sucker for a good biscuit.] I even ended up with at least half of my brunch left over since it was so filling!

Fast forward a few hours, add some exhaustion and you’ll find where I was at by the time we were ready to stop & inhale our take-out. In the flurry to get everything onto our plates, I forgot to photograph each dish in its container. I can honestly say that it was well packed, with the dressing carefully placed in the salad box as to not crush the ingredients. Everything was labeled & ready to enjoy!  We decided to just split everything and boy was I glad we did!

The guacamole was divine! Freshly made-to-order at Barrio every time! By now you’ve realized the love affair I have with guacamole, and this was definitely one of the best in Seattle.  The only disappointment was that I had forgotten to ask for some of the amazing salsa they put out on the table with chips while you wait for your food. The chips were super fresh, crispy and salty… the way they should be! The portion was ample and we had enough to eat with dinner and snack on the following day.

The burrito was delicious and appropriately sized. It was surprisingly filling for the size. [I'm used to gorging myself on taco truck burritos that  resemble a small brick.] This is definitely not that kind of place, but what Barrio’s burrito lacked in size they made up for with flavor. The chicken was seasoned well and the ingredients were fresh and flavorful. They’ve captured an amazing blend of ingredients so they didn’t need to add a lot to it. To complement the burritos, they serve escabeche slaw on the side. Unfortunately, the slaw that came with our food didn’t make it to our plates. It had an untimely death by my klutzy hands. It did look delicious though!

The salad was fresh and full of sizable chunks of avocado, corn, tomatoes, cheese crumbles and pumpkin seeds. I was pretty surprised it still looked as good since it had been sitting in my car for a few hours. For that reason we didn’t want to take any chances with the creamy dressing it came with and added our own, but again it looked good! All in all it was a great (couple of) dining experience(s) at Barrio and I’ll definitely be back.

Here’s the breakdown:

Food: GREAT! Fresh, carefully selected, and brilliantly executed!
Price: On the nicer side so the price shows. My breakfast, take-out order & a cup of coffee came to a little over $50 before tax or tip on the brunch menu so lunch/dinner/drinks would likely run higher.
Overall: Good for special occasions or when you can afford to spend a little more. Will definitely be back to Barrio!

What they think:

Yelp

Barrio Mexican Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

Want to visit Barrio online? Check out their website or find them on Facebook!
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